Personal Computer CPU Pioneer Chuck Peddle Passed Away

Chuck Peddle2

One of the most important engineers in the early home computer era has passed away after a long, lengthy battle to Pancreatic Cancer; he was 82 years old. Peddle was best known for being the lead designer of the MOS Technology’s 6502, a low-cost processor that was used in first-wave home computers such as the Apple II and the Commodore PET. At the time of 1975, MOS Technology’s 6502 was priced for a mere $25, variants of the 6502’s core design would eventually find its way to influential video game consoles, Atari 2600 and the NES.

His Creation, the 6502 almost didn’t exist, Peddle wanted to design his chip at Motorola; the company was struggling to sell it’s 6800-CPU Design Kits that were selling for $300 at that time. Motorola became unresponsive to his proposal on what Peddle and his team suggested, seeing it as internal competition so it leads Peddle and his team to jump ship and bring the idea to MOS Technology. Motorola tried its hardest to stop the 6502, through suing and to halt sales, which lead to MOS being forced to settle in 1976. Then came COMMODORE, it swooped in and bought MOS Technology; making Chuck Peddle their Chief Engineer and changed the landscape of Computing with the introduction of the $495 PET.

Peddle left the MOS Team in 1980, focusing on what would be considered Low-Key Projects such as Sirius Systems Technology’s Victor PC and removable hard drives which led as a precursor to things such as external hard drives and USB sticks. Peddle helped democratize computing by making home PCs affordable, to this day the ideas he formulated forty-five years ago are still used today in the roots of Smart Phones and Connected homes.

The 8-Bit Guy Presents: The PET

Chuck Peddle’s NY Times Obituary

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